Kenyon is a small liberal arts college in central Ohio with a population of 1,600 students. The caring, enthusiastic, and honest atmosphere that permeates Kenyon’s campus is unavoidable; I immediately encountered it when I entered the admissions office. The person who greeted me gave me a friendly welcome to campus and equipped me with a folder full of goodies such as a campus map and a coupon to use in the bookstore. I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that Kenyon’s admissions office offered directions to other nearby colleges; during my visit, I did not feel as though people were trying to lure me to Kenyon. Rather, I felt that they wanted to help me with my college search and let me discover whether or not Kenyon would be a good fit.
My enthusiastic tour guide, Sophia, gave my mother and me a personal tour of campus. As she showed us around, she waved and said hello to several people she knew. After saying hello to one student, she turned to us and said, “He always says hi to me, and I feel so bad, because I can never remember his name!” This kind, outgoing sort of person seems to be the norm at Kenyon. Sophia told us that she found it a bit disarming at first, because she was not used to people going out of their way to be nice to her. But I don’t imagine it took her long to adjust.
After the tour, we returned to the admissions office for an information session. It was not a typical, polished presentation with a power point and a memorized spiel. Instead, we sat down on a couch with one other family to meet with an admissions officer. She asked us about our academic interests and told us what she loved about Kenyon. However, she didn’t try to sugar coat everything or give us a false impression of the place. She told us straight-out that Kenyon is located in the middle of nowhere, and that we need to consider that in making our decision. I felt that she wanted to portray Kenyon honestly and fairly, so that we would be able to make a well-informed decision about whether to apply.
Besides the unique and friendly atmosphere, a strong emphasis on literature draws many students to Kenyon. I picked up a copy of The Kenyon Review, a literary magazine, when I visited campus and found information about a Young Writers Workshop on Kenyon’s website. Anyone who is looking for a quality education from a small, Midwestern liberal arts school should plan a visit to Kenyon College.